AZ Dem State Sen Hasn’t Resigned After Arrest For Sexual Misconduct With Teens, Kelly Townsend Takes Action, Files Ethics Complaint

Calls for Arizona Dem State Senator Tony Navarrete to resign after he was arrested and posted bail on charges of sexual misconduct with male teenagers have thus far gone unheeded.

Arizona GOP State Senator Kelly Townsend has taken action, however, and filed an ethics complaint against Navarrete, asking the committee to immediately convene and recommend discipline.

In the letter, Townsend asks that if expulsion is included as a disciplinary action, that the committee request Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to “convene a special session for purposes of holding the necessary vote to expel.”

The chairwoman of the ethics committee, Arizona State Sen Sine Kerr (R) responded quickly to the complaint and announced in a statement of her own that Navarrete has been made aware of it.

Navarrete has seven days to respond to the complaint, although Kerr urged him to resign prior to that and avoid wasting time with the investigation.

Arizona GOP State Sen Wendy Rogers gave her backing to the ethics complaint as well in a tweet where she declared, “I stand with Kelly Townsend @AZKellyT 100%.”

Echoing the words that she used in an initial tweet condemning the arrest of Navarrete, Rogers added, “We cannot allow sexual predators to remain in our Arizona government.”

According to Townsend’s latest tweet, Navarrete doesn’t appear ready to resign without getting something in return.

“It has come to my attention that Sen. Navarrete was told to not resign immediately and use his resignation as part of his plea deal,” Townsend said.

Townsend explained, “This is beyond reprehensible and he needs to resign today, or be removed. Every moment he is in office is a slap in the face to victims everywhere.”

According to The Arizona Republic, Navarrete’s resignation would trigger a replacement process that starts with the precinct committee chairs in Legislative District 30 and they would nominate three candidates, who by law must all be Democrats, as Navarrete is a Democrat.

A replacement would then be chosen from that list by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and would serve out the rest of Navarrete’s term, which ends in January 2023.